“I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” —2 Cor. 11:2;
I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword… —1 Kings 19:10
God is a jealous God (Dt. 4:23). The Lord loves His people to such a degree that even His name is called “Jealous” (Ex. 34:14). He is provoked to jealousy when He must compete for our undivided affections.
Likewise, it is proper for the preacher to be jealous for the people he oversees in God’s flock. The prophet Elijah was deeply distressed by how grievously the Lord was being dishonored by His people (1 Kings 19:10). Israel had abandoned the Word of God (covenant); neglected the worship of God (altars); abused the workers of God (prophets).
As Paul was jealous for the church at Corinth (2 Cor. 11:2), I feel a jealousy for the people God has placed in my spiritual care at Bible Baptist Church. It starts as people become indifferent towards the Word of God—Bible study and preaching are neglected. This leads to the forsaking of Worship at the house of God (Heb. 10:25). Church is abandoned to pursue personal pleasures or agendas. When people forsake worship, it leads to criticism of the Workers of God. The pastor is “bad-mouthed” when he points out the sin in the lives of God’s people.
How jealous are you for the things of God / work of God?
- Do you ever feel like Elijah? What disturbs you?
- How do you feel when you hear God’s name profaned?
- How do you feel when you see God’s people compromise and flirt with the world.
- How do you feel when worship services are neglected?
How you answer these questions will reveal much about your own love for the Lord! No jealousy—Little love.